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SFAz announces 10 grants to improve technology in rural school

Wednesday, June 18, 2014   (0 Comments)
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Science Foundation Arizona Awards More Than $280,000 in Grants to Rural Schools

Supports ten rural communities to enhance computer and science programs

PHOENIX (May 20, 2014) – Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz) has awarded a total of $289,507 in grants with funds from Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation; Margaret T. Morris Foundation; Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation and PhoenixMart LLC to ten rural schools as part of SFAz’s Rural and Remote Initiative. When SFAz conducted its Rural and Remote Education Needs Survey in May 2013, educators identified as a top priority the need to increase science and technology programs in schools.

Schools in rural communities were encouraged to submit a request for proposal to fund much needed technology upgrades for science and computer lab equipment and programs. SFAz received a total of 50 proposals, which then went through an external peer review process before final approval.

As a result, the grants from SFAz will support improved technology for STEM programs in the ten rural schools. Students will have the opportunity to enhance their research and analytical capabilities and more importantly become excited of the possibilities tied to science and technology.

“With help from donors to our Rural and Remote Initiative, SFAz is focused on increasing STEM education to create talent in building Arizona’s future,” said William Harris, president and chief executive officer for SFAz. “This equipment and technology funding will allow students to enrich their technology and analytical skills, understand real-world field experiences, and learn about future career opportunities in STEM fields, helping to close the impending skills gap which the nation currently faces.”

SFAz received funding from four organizations for computer and science lab programs. The schools funded by Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation include:

  • The $34,947 grant awarded to Center for Academic Success High School (Cochise County) will allow the school to offer the advanced Project Lead the Way Engineering Program, a program that give students sufficient technology to participate in required activities aligned to course content standards and objectives such as advanced Robotics and CAD design.
  • With a grant of $15,142, Fort Thomas High School (Graham County) can help transition its students to Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards. Specifically, the microscope cam purchased will help students better visualize the makeup of a cell and where processes like protein production happen within it. Students will have the opportunity to conduct research, analyze lab data and track their progress toward understanding the state’s standards.
  • Lee Williams High School (Mohave County) will build a strong science program with the grant of $18,124. The program will emphasize hands-on, inquiry-based activities supported by technology to increase engagement and achievement in STEM areas.
  • Mogollon High School (Navajo County) will double the number of laboratory collection stations with the $36,286 grant. Eight new lab stations will allow more students to track a wide variety of data as well as participate in hands-on activities.
  • Teachers at Nogales High School (Santa Cruz County) will use the iPads and probeware purchased from the $49,644 grant to blend instructional content, investigation, data collection and analysis—tremendously increasing the ability of students to apply content knowledge and engage in laboratory exploration utilizing real-world tools and methods.
  • Safford High School (Graham County) will create and design a hands-on approach with the $48,942 grant to study various sciences that will ultimately get students interested and excited about science. The school is also incorporating STEM in topics like physiology, agricultural science, environmental change and conservation through project-based learning.
  • With a grant of $39,836, Williams High School (Coconino County) will incorporate more technology into science courses. With the purchase of iPads, the school will build cross-curricular units to increase student engagement, provide real-life experiences to increase student aptitude for future college and career readiness and students will perform purposive data collection and reporting.

“We are delighted to fund these computer and science labs in honor of Joyce Marley Corrigan, who was a strong advocate for excellent education across the state, including our rural communities,” said Nancy Elitharp Ball, chief financial officer and board member for The Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation. “We encourage others to join us in helping meet the technology needs of our rural schools.”

The schools funded by Margaret T. Morris Foundation and Dow Foundation include:

  • Teachers at Mingus Union High School (Yavapai County) can begin creating science lessons that align with the Next Generation Science Standards, as well as extra programs for the school year with a grant of $9,594.
  • Model Creek School (Yavapai County) was granted $8,266 to implement programs which will teach students individual and group research skills and graphical analysis of laboratory data.

The school funded by PhoenixMart LLC includes:

  • The donation of $28,726 to Casa Grande Middle School (Pinal County) will fund the mobile computer lab and allow for twice as many students to participate in the school’s STEM academy next school year.

SFAz education and field staff provide ongoing support to grantee schools.

Through the Rural and Remote Initiative, SFAz has committed to providing teachers the tools they need to improve academic achievement and develop the skills to implement Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards and Next Generation Science Standards.

About Science Foundation Arizona

Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization initiated in 2006 by the Greater Phoenix Leadership Inc., Southern Arizona Leadership Council and the Flagstaff Forty in conjunction with the executive and legislative branches of state government. SFAz serves as a catalyst for high-wage, knowledge-based jobs and economic diversity through administration and strict oversight of research, development and education grants to public education and other non-profit research performing institutions. For more information, visit www.sfaz.org, or follow us on Facebook.


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